By Dennis Clemente
3 goals of Case Commons: Changing lives above all, helping the helpers and measuring results
NEW YORK–Last September 5, the Product Group meetup moderated by Jeremy Horn hosted a talk featuring Patrick Colgan, product manager of Case Commons, a non-profit software development company aimed at transforming public sector human services through user-centered design and technology.
Case Commons offers a product called Casebook, a collaborative, family-centered case management system for child welfare, which enables workers serving the most vulnerable families and children to be more effective and efficient via Web-based software tools.
“We currently handle all child welfare management for the state of Indiana, and have plans to expand to other states in 2014,” he said at the Product Group held at the Viacom building in Times Square.
Case Commons was founded by and continues to be supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the leading philanthropy dedicated solely to disadvantaged children and families in America.
Colgan said the company has three goals: Changing lives above all, helping the helpers and measuring results.
Case Commons, Inc. is also helping to drive a broader conversation about how to improve technology innovation in government, ensuring that government technology makes lives better for people every day.
The organization believes America’s future depends on government adopting a forward-leaning approach to information technology. The technology gap between government and the rest of society is growing.
Colgan echoes what Case Commons stands for about how they can help government reach Americans more directly; reduce waste; throw open the doors to make government more transparent; and transform the public sector from a follower into a technology innovation leader.
“Analytics and research are important to us. We have set out to apply leading-edge technologies, such as predictive modeling, factor analysis and text mining, to equip caseworkers to make sense of their data and, in turn, help agency managers, researchers and policy makers understand what works and why.
“We continuously analyze Casebook data to explore patterns and prove statistical hypotheses. We collaborate with researchers from leading universities and other policy research organizations to understand what socio-economic factors are mostly responsible for child abuse and neglect.
“We aspire to share our findings with the broader human services community, not only in published papers and conference presentations, but also directly through Casebook features that support day-to-day decision-making. In taking these steps, we can help make policy and practice based on evidence,” he said.
Colgan says Casebook Analytics was built not around units of work, such as cases, but rather around persons, relationships and groups, such as families and households. This person-centric design enables users to follow individuals and families over time.
This means you may not need to repeat yourself like a broken record when you need someone to review your case.